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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Final Post of 2006

I've been cranking some U2 and this song came up. Many people will be shouting many different things when the ball drops. I thought this is what I would like to shout:

Oh, and where do we go
Where do we go from here
Where to go
To the side of a hill
Blood was spilt
We were still looking
At each other

Oh, we're goin' back there
Jerusalem Jerusalem

Shout, shout
With a shout, shout it out
Shout...shout it out...

I wanna go
To the foot of the messiah
To the foot of he who made me see
To the side of a hill
Where we were still
We were filled
With our love

We're gonna be there again
Jerusalem Jerusalem

Shout, shout
With a shout
With a shout

U2 - With A Shout - October

Happy New Year! Woohoo!

My First Date

Remember your first date? I do and I will. I remember my first date ever with Stephanie Curry: Karate Kid 2 and we held hands. My palms never have sweated so much. I remember my first date with my wife, Kelly: Pray for Rain concert at BGSU. We rocked our little hearts out and the rest is history. I will remember my first date with my daughter, Sarah: Charollotte's Web. Wow. I'm not sure which I did more the movie or watch Sarah watch the movie. She sat in my lap the whole time. She asked questions out loud and I tried to answer them as softly as I could.

As we walked out of the theatre, I couldn't help but think that life was simply moving to fast. She was growing up to fast. It was just yesterday that I was bringing her home for the first time to our home in Pittsburgh. It was just yesterday that she was sitting up, crawling around, and walking here and there for the very first time. And yet yesterday I couldn't help but think that as fast as these first four years have gone by, that the next 10-15 are going to go by just as fast if not faster. And to that I say...oh, well. I will savor every moment as best as I can and every date I have with her as best as I can. What an honor God has bestowed upon me to be the daddy of a little girl.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Lights Please

Charlie Brown's Chistmas maybe some of the best 30 minutes in all of television history. This clip maybe the greatest 90 seconds of television ever. I never get tired of it. In fact, it speaks more to me now than when I was a kid. May this clip refocus your vision of Christmas and encourage your heart as you wonder at what Christmas and this Jesus is all about.

Joy and peace to you and yours this wonderous season.

Christmas Family Traditions

As Sarah and Parker grow older, Kelly and I wanted to celebrate some fun family traditions around the holidays, especially Advent. One of the really cool things that we have done is buy a cool Advent house from Costco. Everyday has been something new and special for the kids as we have tried to balance fun, family and sacred elements to this experience. Here is a list of things we have done:

Go see Christmas lights at night.
Make Christmas cookies
Watch a Christmas movie together and make popcorn.
Go buy a Christmas tree.
Decorate the Christmas tree.
Set up the Christmas train.
Read the Christmas story from the Bible and act it out.
Read Twas the Night before Christmas
Give clothes and/or toys away to Goodwill.
Serve together as a family.
Go shopping for present for Daddy from Sarah & Parker.
Go shopping for present for Mommy from Sarah & Parker.
Make Christmas cards for Granny & Grandad and Mamau & Papau.
Make Christmas ornament/craft for family.
Go downtown to see Christmas lights.
Go see Christmas lights at the zoo.
Buy a Christmas movie or music CD.
Take Christmas cookies to neighbors.
Go see Santa & tell him what you want for Christmas.
Camp out around Christmas tree.
Buy toys for needy kids/Toys for Tots.
Build a snowman (since no snow this year we substituted our small group Xmas party).
Have Christmas cookies or candy with hot chocolate.
Make a Christmas craft and color Christmas coloring sheet.

Sarah and Parker have taken turns at opening the doors of the house to see what surprise treat and experience is inside. It is just about the last thing they talk about before we put them down for bed. And it is the first thing they ask about when they wake up in the morning. Their eyes sparkle and feet dance as they tug Kelly down the hall and into the family room. It's pretty cool.

Obviously there are a ton of options you could do. If you have any ideas please leave a comment. Please use this idea if your family is searching for creative and meaningful ways to live out Christmas in your home and community. Merry Advent!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Fun New Feature

It's amazing to me all the fun techy, geeky things you can put on your blog to track stats, brighten pages, send information, or even make money. As I have bounced from blog to blog, I've picked on a few tools from a few different companies.

One of the tools is from Feed Burner. One of their tools allows bloggers to place a subscription box on their site so that others can subscribe free to that particular blog. I have added one to this blog. It's in the right hand column at the bottom under the map of the world (another cool tool).

If you'd like to subscribe to Held Up High and know when I post something new that is personal, fun or spiritual, you can do so now. All you do is put your email into that box, click "subscribe" and follow the instructions. Then you will get a notice in your email inbox of when something new has been posted here. Pretty easy. Plus, it's free! You can't beat that.

Thanks for letting me share my journey and reveal my inner geek!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

His Word, Sarah's Heart

Sarah, a bit more shy, still loves sharing Dueteronomy 10:17 from the Bible with all those who will listen closely to her. "The Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords! The great, the mighty, and the awesome God!" That is so sweet!

His Word, Parker's Heart

Parker loves sharing John 3:16 from the Bible with all those who will hear him. "For God so loved the world that He sent His only son." It pretty much sums up the season, doesn't it? Enjoy!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Church You Know - WWJD

The Church You Know web site is one of the more edgy yet funny sites I've seen in a while. They push us to struggle with how we communicate to each other and the world around us about such topics as tithing, attendance, pastors, etc. They do this in formats of 30 second commercials that are styled after the "The More You Know" spots on TV. As a friend of mine put it, "It's creative and a bit uncomfortable." Check out their site for all the clips. How do they make you feel?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Inside Scoop

Just when you think your four year old is only interested in ballet, books, and bossing her little brother around, think again. When I am home from work on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sarah loves to help me get Parker up from his nap. It's quite cute. Yesterday we were in PK's nap room lying on the bed watching him slowly rise from the dead. Sarah snuggled up close to me and said, "Daddy, are we moving?" I was like - whoa - where did that come from? Kelly must have talked to Sarah about it (and she did). Cool.

I said yes that there was a good chance that we were going to moving closer to Granny/Grandad and Mamau/Papau. She then proceeded to blow me by stating, "You're going to school for counseling, right?" That is when my jaw then hit the bed (only later to be found out that Kelly hadn't talked to her about that). I said yeah and asked her how that made her feel. She said she was excited b/c, "Then we can move into a BIG house with stairs!"

I take a couple of things away from this great little interchange:

1. In this potential move (my chickens haven't hatched yet), it's Kelly and I you have to worry about. The kids will be fine as long as we are there and there are new things to found and explored like stairs (we live in a ranch with no basement)!

2. If you want the inside scoop about the Indy Rings family, go talk to the four year old. She knows what's up.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Can You Tell What I Just Figured Out?

Hhhmmm...could it be - how to post videos!? Yes! As you can tell, I'm having fun posting videos from not only my collection, but also from friends (aka KB Vidz) and places like You Tube. This is pretty cool. I don't want videos to over take my blog and it's primary purpose of sharing my journey with family, friends, and complete strangers who may randomly drop in, but for the time being...this is going to be freaking A cool!

If You Can't Laugh at This

"Weird Al" Yankovic's music video from his new album "Straight Outta Lynwood". This is classic and I'm not even a "Weird All" fan. Turn up the bass and bump the house!

KB Vidz - Brand New - Ok I Believe U, But My Tommy Gun Don't

Brian is a former student in the student ministry I pastored in Pittsburgh. He's a great young man, good friend, and one talented/creative dude! I totally dig this video he did as a solo project with his group KB Vidz. B da man! I'm proud of you, dude. Kick butt in NYC. I'm praying for you, big time!

Great Music Video

This has got to be one of the great music videos of all time. Outfreakingstading!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Holding Pattern

Well, it's done. My application for U of Dayton is finished and in their hands (actually been done for some time, but am just not getting around to posting about it). Weird to think that another application for graduate school has been filled out and submitted...I thought I was done with that a loooong time ago...guess not. So for now I sit and wait. That is hard given the fact that I so much want to give Kelly the answers (and some security) about what the future holds, where we will be, and how we can go about preparing for all that. But I can't. So I wait. Trusting in God and waiting to see how He will lead.

The Hunger Site

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